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sfdownhill last won the day on January 29

sfdownhill had the most liked content!

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About sfdownhill

  • Rank
  • Birthday 04/14/1964

Profile Information

  • Location
    Vista CA
  • In My Garage:
    2001 VFR
    2003 CRF450R

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  1. 2013 06 08 14.50.38 copy

    Great shot - cool graphics. Where is that location?
  2. Another rear brake use question

    Plus one on everything Oldnslow said. Hi landlover. Your situation does bear pondering - you are wise to check around before adopting new techniques or practices. Opinions on braking technique are like navels; everyone has one. The % of front brake stopping power your service advisor described is pretty close - some might say 70% front brake, others who never use the rear brake would say the front is 100%. If we assume clean, dry pavement and stopping while riding in a straight line, the amount of braking available at the front vs at the rear has to do with weight shift: the more you brake, the more the weight of the bike and rider shift to the front, providing the front with more traction. At the same time weight is shifted off of the rear tire, which reduces available traction at the rear, and thus reduces available braking forces at the rear. If you watch motorcycle roadraces, it is not uncommon to see the rear wheel completely airborne under very hard braking. In this case the front brakes are responsible for 100% of the braking as the rear brakes cannot provide any stopping force. That being said, under 'normal' non-threatening, non-competitive street riding, my preference is somewhat like yours: I use the rear brake [lightly] when cornering with gusto, but am relying on the front for all primary whoa-horsey type actions. In city traffic, I'll use just the rear to come to a comfortable stop at a stop sign or traffic signal, not for any real reason except to keep awareness sharp, along with wearing the rear pads more evenly with the front. When performing an emergency stop/avoid maneuver, I'll use both brakes, but I have practiced automatically emphasizing the front brakes, because the harder I stop, the lighter the rear gets and the more likely the rear brake is to lock up if even slightly over-applied. Locking the rear wheel when your bodily safety is at risk is very, very bad because a sliding rear tire follows the laws of physics it was taught from the moment it left the mold: unless kept perfectly in line, it will slide out to the side of the motorcycle that the center of gravity is on in relation to the not [yet?] locked-up front wheel. For example if you are stopping as hard as you can to avoid a homicidal automobile and apply too much rear brake and lock the rear wheel while at the same time turning to the right to avoid said homicidal vehicle, the locked and sliding rear tire will venture off to the left with no regard whatsoever for your future health and hapiness, completely ignoring your peril and even its own fate. As pointed out above, this is bad, and can lead to unscheduled repairs or worse: spousal retribution. An exercise I use to keep in practice and maintain proficiency is to find a safe environment and practice variations on the following decelerations: - from 70mph to 30mph using 60% of maximum braking with front/rear around 50/50, playing with the front/rear balance to learn what happens with more or less of either - from 70mph to 30mph using 80% of maximum braking and attempting to keep front/rear around 70/30 - from 80mph to 20mph using maximum braking with all emphasis on front brakes [Note the change in effectiveness of applied braking forces from higher speed to lower] - from 80mph to 20mph using maximum braking, all emphasis on front brakes, but after initial slowing has begun, adding in 3% rear to see how the bike's balance and handling begin to change - etc etc etc Note: when changing parameters like entry speed, braking force applied, or turn-in points, I have learned via excruciating experimentation to be extremely disciplined in limiting changes to very very small increments - 3% maximum change is my rule. This helps me avoid unknowingly crossing a perilous boundary that I didn't know was right there [I just pointed at the ground two feet in front of me]. Even a carefully executed 10% increase in speed, braking or turning force can easily land one in completely unexplored territory. During these braking drills, I play with any combination of factors I can that is safe: - higher speeds to full stop - 60% or 80% of maximum braking and gradually overemphasize rear brake to safely learn how much is too much - initiating braking while turning to learn how the weight shift takes the center of gravity up and toward the outside of the turn - etc etc etc By the way, practicing that last one [braking while turning] at safe, controlled speeds until you instinctively respond with balanced, opposing steering to the forces that want to send you to the outside of the turn can save you from the common BWTTRW crash [Brake-While-Turning-Then-Run-Wide]. OK that's enough out of me. I hope others chime in with their recommendations and experiences. Always be learning, always be practicing.
  3. in the thick of it

    You've got a great eye, Jay. Having a beautiful 5th gen and lush background doesn't hurt...
  4. Yosemite New Years 2018

    Yosemite is better for VFRs in the off-season. Great ride with Hammerdrill.
  5. End of an Era - No More VFR?

    Oh my god, didit, I just noticed your avatar. Awesome! I have serious image-envy...
  6. End of an Era - No More VFR?

    Yes, one can do the research online, and perhaps purchase a motorcycle sight unseen. I don't think I'd be able to leap to a motorcycle purchase without looking; seeing in person all the details I'd read about online, swinging a leg over. That's just me. When I meet a high quality salesperson [In any field, selling goods or services], I get a clear vibe that they are tapping into significant experience, and, usually, education, to find the best solution for me. Perhaps there is a continuum that runs from the motorcycle buying newbie [Isn't even sure what kind of riding they might begin with] all the way to the rider who's done it all for decades. Somewhere along this continuum, the sales person can offer assistance and guidance, if at different levels for the different riders. The enormous assumption I'm making is that the salesperson in question is scrupulous, knowledgeable, and proficient in people skills. Your point is certainly valid, and raises the questions: "Are physical dealerships necessary to the motorcycle industry?" "Can brick and mortar motorcycle dealerships help the motorcycle industry? How?" "Are brick and mortar dealerships currently hurting the motorcycle industry? How?"
  7. End of an Era - No More VFR?

    Well, at least Honda is still making the VFR, even if it doesn't make sense for them to bring them to the states. Here's an interesting take on the state of the motorcycle industry. It touches on failure to reach women riders (women riders raise kids who ride), the antiquated dealership model, and poor customer experience when visiting a dealership: http://bit.ly/2CAzshg
  8. R/R Mod

    +1 on roadstercycle. Here's my experience with them:
  9. I replaced the original OEM regulator/rectifier [r/r] on my 2001 5th gen with a Shindengen SH847 series-style r/r from roadstercycle.com. There were no problems evident with my elecrical system, but with 48,595 miles on my old[ish] VFR, I might be on borrowed time with the all-original wiring, stator and r/r. I read through the pinned threads on the vfrd electrical forum: 'stator tests', 'electrical upgrade', and 'tips and tricks' - thanks to everyone who contributed their advice and experiences to these informative threads. Thanks to Duc2V4 for his guidance and for introducing me to roadstercycle.com and introducing me to Jack, the craftsman behind the roadstercycle website. Special thanks to Jack for his excellent suggestions, products, service, and for showing me his amazing shop and machines. Readings before beginning project: 12.9v on the battery with ignition switch off 0.8-0.9ohms across all three stator legs when disconnected from r/r [my meter reads 0.6ohms when I short the two probes together] No continuity from any stator leg to ground 19-20v on all three stator legs at 1200rpm idle [engine temp 174F] 61-63v on all three stator legs at 5000rpm I neglected to check battery voltages with engine running before I began I used this nifty $20 voltmeter [It also has two USB charging ports] from ebay for continuous battery voltage display - plugged it into my always-on steering stem power outlet. I compared it to my multi-meter, and they displayed the same voltages: Here is the original OEM r/r with leads disconnected: The connectors on the cables coming from the stock r/r didn't look bad, though the connector on the stator wires was a bit discolored: The series-type SH847 is $50.00 more than the popular mosfet SH020AA, but operates on demand instead of constantly, runs even cooler than mosfet, and has a 50 amp capacity. I went with it because I've been doing track days and don't want to challenge the r/r if I have to unplug the lights before taping them over [the headlights melt through polyethylene tape if you leave them on after you tape them over - ask me how I know]. The SH847 connectors are built onto the r/r. Roadstercycle sells the SH847 as a kit and makes up the connectors/cables for the battery and stator leads from 10 gauge marine grade wire: The SH847 is a physically larger unit - here it is next to the stock r/r: Before purchasing, I made an actual size mockup and taped it in place to test fit it under the rear cowl in the stock r/r location. It would have efficient cable routing and clear the cowl and passenger rear set assembly if oriented with the connectors facing forward, which would mean the cooling fins would be perpendicular to airflow as I perceived it. Jack said the series-type and mosfet Shindengen r/r's don't care about airflow direction: After visiting roadstercycle.com, receiving an education and a tour from Jack, then picking up r/r kits for my bike and for member Hammerdrill's 's 6th gen, I fit the SH847 in place, mapped out its location, and marked where to drill the top mounting hole [Yes, I cleaned up the hole with a rat tail file after drilling]: This left the new r/r's bottom mounting hole just below the bottom rail of the subframe. I hate mixing SAE and metric fasteners [I never know if I'll remember the right size tools later], but my best mounting solution was the threaded endpiece of this 1/4-20 draw bolt. I used the threaded piece to grab the subframe from underneath by threading it onto a bolt running through the r/r's bottom mounting hole: I cut a 1/4-20 flange bolt short enough that it wouldn't grind into the plastic fender behind the subframe, cut the bottom rear corner off the threaded draw bolt piece so it could clear the fender when pivoted up to grab the subframe securely, then loctited the threads and cinched it all up with stainless washers between the mounting bolts and the r/r: Roadstercycle's kit comes with finished battery cables. I asked for 11" battery cables, but Jack wisely recommended 12" lengths. I'm glad he did, because they fit like this [The nearest black and red cables in this photo are the leads from the new r/r and the red fixture on the left with two bumps on it is the 30amp circuit breaker that Jack builds into the kit]: Per the instructions, I taped off the now unused connector that ran from the wire harness to the old r/r and fastened it out of the way: The kit comes with 18" stator cables, solder-on sleeves, and crimp connectors - you choose whichever connector you prefer. I cut the stator cables to length using cable cutters. I like actual cable cutters for stranded cable because they capture the strands and compress them together so the strands don't get crushed and spread apart between the two blades of regular wire cutters or dikes. Next was to solder on the sleeves, followed by completely forgetting to take photos of the cables in my solder jig, but there's not much there to imagine. Roadstercycle has a good video on how to solder connectors. Just before heating the last piece of shrinkwrap onto the last finished stator connection, I remembered to take a photo: That's it. My final electrical readings are all the same - I didn't change out the stator or battery. I finally took battery readings with the engine running and got 13.3v at 1200rpm idle, 14.5v at 5000rpm.
  10. This one or that one ?

    Awwww! You put the good photo on top. Now I can't say 'I like the bottom'
  11. +2 on thank you for sharing that. Many of us have been curious what the 800 platform could achieve - there it is, in real molecules.
  12. First track day!

    Your black kit looks great w your bike. Good to see you looking well ahead.
  13. Ensuring you re-torque every bolt

    Nice. Simple. Strong. Jhenley, thanks for the paint reminder. Also simple.
  14. Ensuring you re-torque every bolt

    I keep a notepad [spiral bound] on my workbench with a section [back pages] devoted only to torque. I put torque non-completion data at the back and work forward so I don't have to start at the beginning of the notes and sift through other project info, measurements, part numbers, etc. to find scattered torque status. Follow your 'torque everything to spec at install' guideline religiously, and if you install any part of a system that shouldn't or can't be torqued to spec immediately upon installation, write the exact nut/bolt/position in the notebook w time and day. Review the notebook periodically and again at completion of project. After verifying that you've finished all necessary torque tasks, you can tear out the back pages and start clean on the next project. Doing this has made me comfortable leaving even something as vital as the rear axle nut snug, but not torqued and not staked. I had the brakes off for caliper rebuild/stainless hose install, and without the rear brake, had no way to hold the rear wheel assembly against the 148 ft/lb torque required for the axle nut. Later, after installing the brakes, my notebook reminded me to torque and stake the axle nut, just in case I got caught up in finish line fever and thought about a premature test ride. Of course, I end up rechecking many torques after final tightening - safe still being significantly better than sorry. The story of how the rear wheel came off is way better when heard about someone else's snafu than when told about your own.
  15. 5th & 6th VFR 800 Header build

    It can't be a threadjack if it's reaching out to the original poster... Dang, Jay! You know what they say about traction and gravity: It seems like there's never enough, and then, suddenly, there's waaayyyy too much. Good thing you do your exercises every morning - your strength and flexibility probably kept it from being worse. Best thoughts and speedy healing to you. Glad you've got family around you.

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